Friday, November 14, 2008

Christmas Questions

Thes quesions were posted on Katdish's blog "Hey Look! A Chicken!" early Friday morning. Her answers are also posted on her blog, where she encourages us to copy, paste, delete her answers, and add our own. You can do the same from here if you choose.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
I usually go with gift bags, but this year I bought wrapping paper and promised myself to start wrapping early, a little at a time.
2. Real tree or Artificial?
Artificial. I am allergic to the scent of pine. Even before I knew that, I had an artificial tree. But now that I know, I use my allergy as an excuse :-)
3. When do you put up the tree?
When I was a a child, my parents put it up on Christmas Eve. Hungarian tradition. But a few years ago, when mom first had a stroke, I was afraid another one was on the way, and that would be her last Christmas, so we put it up a day after Thanksgiving. Mom is doing much better now, but I promised myself that the year I thought I was gonna lose her would not be our best Christmas, but every year after we would celebrate as if it were our last together (not from pessimism, but from thankfulness that we have another one again, you know?)

4. When do you take the tree down?
Hungarian tradition is to take it down on Candlemas, February 2. This is a celebration of the Lord Jesus being presented at the temple. It is also a Polish tradition, so it is one tradition my parents' cultures shared. I cherish that.
5. Do you like eggnog?

Yes. I like to drink it, and make French toast with it. It is also good in coffee (not the Coffee creamer kind, but the real thing!)

6. Favorite gift received as a child? My uncle gave me an illustrated picture book of the Saints for Christmas one year. I loved that book. The saints became my heroes, especially Saints Tarcissus and Agnes. They were martyred as children. I hoped that if I were called to die for my belief in Christ, I would be brave and true, like them. (Hey that was cheerful! Merry Christmas everyone! Who wants to be a martyr? Yay! Let's go hop on the bus and get to it then!)
7. Hardest person to buy for?

My husband develops a different interest every year, and if I try to get something related to it it is usually not what he wants.
8. Easiest person to buy for?
My mom. She is happy for anything! If I gave her lint from my pocket, she would keep it in a special place and cry a river if she lost it. Gotta love my mom!

9. Do you have a nativity scene?

I have several. I also have nativity cling ons for the window. This year my favorite uncle is painting a sun catcher with the Holy Family, wisemen, and shepherds on it. I always wanted one of them light up lawn sets, but my husband doesn't like to put out outdoorsy decorations. i can live with that. He lets me have my way a lot, so I need to sit back and not pick a fight over Christmas decorations.
Oh, and my mom made some beautiful throws with baby Jesus on them. She got the kits from Oriental Trading Company.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?

Mail. Lots of my family don't have enmail. And I'm bad at the whole attachment thing on the email anyway. Who am I kidding, I haven't done it even once!
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

At our prayer group Christmas party we pass around an unopened pig shaped microwave bacon cooker during our grab bag game. We got it the year before last, then last year the couple who does the party wasn't well enough to have it, so we are stuck with it another year. I'm getting rid of it this year if I have to host the party myself!

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
The Little Drummer Boy. Sniffle, sniffle.

13. When do you start shopping?

As soon as possible. I think I'm done, actually.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?

Yes. My students used to give me candy. Lots of candy. A big girl like me shouldn't eat all that candy, so I passed it on to people who were hosting holiday parties. I might have given one to mom before she was diabetic, one to an aunt, kept one, and so on, depending on how much candy I got.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

16. Lights on the tree?

Yes - my tree is pre-lit.

17. Favorite Christmas song?

"The Little Drummer Boy"

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?

Stay home.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's?

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner & Blitzen, and Rudolf. And, of course, Twinkle Toes. Like in the Polka!

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?

Star. I did buy an angel this year though. I love angels... My guardian angel has been pretty nice to me. I'll tell you about it sometime...

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?


22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
Commercialism. Charlie Brown was so right on about this...
23. Favorite ornament theme or color?

Holy Family + Angels=Awesome.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?,

Turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing with sweet potatoes. Kind of like Thanksgiving. Why not? Is there anything we should be more thankful for than Jesus?
25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
World peace. If I can't have that, I'd be happy with a baby. If I can't have that, I'd be happy for my family to just stay healthy and happy. We've had enough illness, death, and sadness in our past to really appreciate a year with none of that. That would be so great!
Oh, and President Obama can select Pro-life supreme court justices, and abandon his promise to pass FOCA. That would be great!

26. Who is most likely to respond to this?

Diane, Whitney, Sherri, Beth (actually Sherri and Beth would be responding to Katdish, since she did this first, but they would if I had done it first and then so would've Katdish. Follow that?)

27. Who is least likely to respond to this?

President Elect Obama. I'm gonna pray anyway.

28. What was your most memorable magical memory from your adulthood?

My mom loves the Hallmark musical snowmen that come out every year. Even when she was sick, she would giggle and light up whenever she pressed the button for them to sing and dance. I enjoyed watching her more than the snowmen. Now I get it for her evry year.

29. Have you ever been involved in a Christmas gift prank?

Not unless you mean Secret Santa stuff, then not coming clean to admit it was me. I would pretend I really thought it had to be someone else, or St. Nicholas himelf.
30. Favorite Christmas Cartoon?

The Little Drummer Boy (He seems to be my answer for a lot of things, doesn't he?)

Little Drummer Boy: Lyrics

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That's fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.


Annie K said...


Are you SERIOUSLY Hungarian? No kidding! My dad's family came over on the boat - the Kovacs and Szabos. He has the manifests on his wall. I'm sure we're related!


Helen said...

I am seriously Hungarian. My dad came here during the Hungarian revolution. Some day I'll do a post on how my dad's experiences in communist Hungary affected my upbringing.

Beth said...

You have GOT to check out my answer to 27.
Very strange...

I would love to hear(read) more about Hungary and your dad's experiences whenever you write about it. Just in reading the differences in when to put up and take down the tree I learned so much!

Sherri said...

Helen, Thank you so much for the SOng. As I 've told you before, Big AL doesn't like Christmas music and I play it non-stop starting the night of Thanksgiving.
This year, I'm a couple of weeks early!!!That was a favorite since I was a child- always brings good memories to me.

AND, just a suggestion, don't give your poor Momma "Lint from your pocket" for Christmas..No matter how tough times get, at least give her a pine cone from the yard, some french fries from your happy meal, just something a bit more thoughtful than lint...from your pocket. SHe may cry and be thankful but really...doesn't she dserve more?

* Ok. Now I'm ticked...My verification word a "mudget". A little TOO close to Midget for me!

Helen, do you control your own verification words?

Helen said...

Don't worry, I don't give her lint. Didn't you read about my favorite Christmas memory as an adult? Since then, I give mom the singing and dancing snowman every year. She lights up every year to see it! She is so cute!
I don't have anything to do with word verification. I get some humdingers on yours too, but I lose the whole comment if I interrupt the publishing process, so I can't describe them in my comment unless I start a new comment, and then we'd get a loop going.

katdish said...

Awww! Love that Little Drummer Boy song!

Mudget! LOL!

pip said...

Hi. Just explaining my "other" vote as requested. I like to hear Christmas music in the build-up to Christmas, perhaps from Dec 8 onwards. Christmas is far too special for me for music to be absent form radio and shops.

Liturgically then, I love the way the Church follows the seasons. I like the period of Advent. For me Advent is symbolised by the presents under the tree, concealed by wrapping paper and waiting to be opened. (pregnancy of Mary). The joyful and triumphant liturgical music for Christmas Eve and Day is then like having the wrapping paper ripped off the present - revealing the New Born King! The anticipation is over, and the glory is revealed. There is more symbolisism in "secular" Christmas than we give it credit for.

Hmm... Actually, I might blog this comment on my blog later, at Advent time.

Helen said...

Thanks, Pip. I'm sure if I try to look at it that way, I can open my heart more to carols during advent.